A Place to Park

Dept. of Parks and Recreation gets a new base yard

Officials from the Department of Parks and Recreation break ground at the department’s future base yard facility.

By Catherine Cluett

It’s been a long, cramped wait for a space to call their own for the Department of Parks and Recreation on Molokai,. Last Friday marked the groundbreaking for a new base yard at Duke Maliu Park, a project that first came to the table about six years ago, according to Molokai’s Zachary Helm, Deputy Director of Maui County Parks and Recreation.

Reverend Jimmy Duvauchelle offered a blessing for the effort, and participants dug golden shovels in the earth where the future building will stand.

Helm congratulated those present. “Finally we’re going to get one hale,” he laughed.

The new building at Duke Maliu Park will house Parks facilities including office space, a staff area, maintenance shop, vehicle parking and equipment storage, according to April Shiotani, Design Consultant for Hiyakumoto and Higuchi Architects. The 5,000 square foot building will be constructed behind the existing Duke Maliu Park building.

Parks and Recreation Director Tamara Horcajo called the Molokai operation a “shining example” for the county.

The Molokai Department of Parks and Recreation has been housed at Mitchell Paoule Center since 1983, according to Helm. Because space is so limited there, the department has no centralized headquarters, and their equipment is spread out around the island.

BCP Construction of Hawaii won the $1.3 million county contract to build the facility. Helm said construction will begin July 1, and the department could be moving in to the new facility as early as the first of next year.

“The project is going to go fast,” he said.

Helm said the project will create jobs, and adding that hopes work will be contracted to Molokai companies as much as possible to stimulate local economy. BCP Construction Project Foreman Max Toa of Molokai said his crew of four will consist of two workers from Honolulu and two from Molokai.

Helm said the Department of Parks and Recreation’s next Molokai project is improvements to the community pool, including new restroom faculties, scheduled begin in August.

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